EP Review: Random House of Evil – Henny Knightz

HENNY KNIGHTZ‘s self produced/written EP, ‘Random House of Evil’ takes on avant-garde approach to alternative hip hop, alternating between the warped instrumentation with deep 808 thuds, that goes to the core of your soul, and the semi-tranquil melodic bass lines.

Lyrically, Henny – who makes one half of The Knighthood Society with fellow rapper Nicki Knightz– apologetically  narrates the darkest moments in his life – his battle with poverty and depression – in the rawest form.

Although this his personal journey, the six-track EP could somewhat offer some comfort for anyone who has been struggling with the aforementioned issues and has came out the other end much stronger and harder.

For anyone who is currently going through depression and/or is stuck in the poverty rut, well think of ‘Random House of Evil’ as your much needed therapy. Have a listen below…

Must Listens: Soul, Pontiac Black

EP Review: Away From The City – Melanie Crew & Ross Palmer

MELANIE CREW and ROSS PALMER have been performing together for several years but EP, ‘Away from the City’ is their first release as a duo. The EP features six songs, three by each writer, and was produced at their home in south London, including two songs that were written and recorded during lockdown (‘Nobody’s Watching’ and A ‘Different Place’).

Melanie leads the way on the EP with the purest of vocals, later supported by a male light baritone performance in guitar-led piece, ‘Seven Mountains’, setting the intimate theme of the collection. BBC Essex/Kent-backed artist went on to add a real mystical glow to spellbinding ‘Holborn Hill’ and ‘A different Place’, which boasts warm glow of country/indie folk.

Also beginning with a stripped-back performance with guitar-led, ‘Restless Heart’, Ross then takes the EP on a slight soulful route, giving the acoustic theme a full-body sound in ‘Nobody’s Watching’, where his soothing vocals eases into the arrangements, that somehow has a revival, Dr. Hook twang. Ross – also a BBC Essex and BBC Kent-approved artist – concludes the set with ‘Darkest England’ which carries on that full-bodied sound to the almost stripped performance, which allows his rich storytelling to take centre stage.

Even if you’re not the greatest fan of the folkore, singer/songwriter approach, you will find the ‘Away from the City’ appeasing as the moment you hit play the set, there’s a comforting warmth that immediately releases any weighty troubles away. Hear for yourself; have a listen below…

Must Listen: Holborn Hill, Nobody’s Watching, Darkest England

EP Review: For The Uninformed – Nicki Knightz

I’ve always known NICKI KNIGHTZ to be that rapper who fiercely take on the boldest of the boldest arrangements with her no nonsense flow, but her latest EP, ‘For The Uninformed’, has caught me off guard. With the exception of the drum bass heavy/Congolese guitar sample, ‘Blacker the Berry,’ which pays homage to her father’s work ethic, the EP shows a soft and perhaps a more vulnerable side to the Hackney native.

The three-track set sees Nicki focusing on the neglected identity issues of being biracial, eliminating any glamorized images of being a light skinned person. In second effort, ‘India Arie’, Nicki gives a vivid account of the problems her parents faced when contending with her hair, over a warped soulful/jazz instrumentation. An old-school soulful drive makes its presence known and runs sombrely throughout concluding track, ‘1964 Howlett Drive’, serving as the perfect backdrop for Nicki’s uncharacteristically emotive delivery, which gives an insight of her experiencing her mother’s culture and its heartbreakingly stark contrast to their life in the innercity area.

A complete 180 to her sonically boisterous 2018 debut EP ‘Hate’, ‘For The Uninformed’ takes on a more minimalist theme, allowing the uninformed to really soak up and resonate with the experience of her childhood.

Have a listen to ‘For The Uninformed’ below…

Must Listen: India Arie

Album Review: Stillborn Flowers – Rain To Rust

Mert Yıldız, the brainchild behind project RAIN TO RUST, continues to provide – and I quote from the man himself: ‘miserable music for miserable people’ – through his latest album, ‘Stillborn Flowers’.

Showcasing hazy and downtempo post-punk, which occasionally takes on the most sinister form of Darkwave (listen to ‘Died’ and ‘Dead Violets Night’) and 90s-style German Gothic rock influences (in ‘Marbled Sunlight’), ‘Stillborn Flowers’ also features remixes of singles (For When It Hurts, A Farewell With Regret and Time and Time Again) from previous album, ‘Flowers Of Doubt’ (2019). Originally an easy listening combo of soft pop/rock spanning of the 80’s, arguably similar to the seductive styling of Bryan Ferry, ‘For When It Hurts’ (TSU Remix) adopts a crisply light electro-pop tones, possessing the same tranquil tempo of the original.

With ‘Stillborn Flowers, Rain To Rust doesn’t fall short of filling the gap for those who yearn for the post-punk/new wave era. He also potentially leave his fans wanting more with dishing up something new with the remixes. Well I, for one, is left hanging for more as I now see him more than just a figurehead of the underground post punk/rock scene in his native Turkey.

Have a listen to ‘Stillborn Flowers below….

Must Listen: Died, Dead Violets Night, For When It Hurts (TSU remix)

EP Review: KWESBAAR RMXS – Neak

NEAK‘s latest project, ‘KWESBAAR RMXS’ maybe a mini set of just five tracks, but it burst with influences, with his spin on hip-hop from the golden era (circa late 80’s), which is often met with rhythmic loops of 70s-style soulful vocals. Third effort ‘The Gift (Mashup)’, brings a little something different to the project as it taps into the boombap vibe working in unison with bluesy jazz tones for that tinging sensation.

‘KWESBAAR RMXS’ is a spin off from Neak’s critically acclaimed/self-produced full-length album, ‘KWESBAAR’ as it entails four new interpretations/remixes from that set plus new track, ‘Nothing To Lose, Inner City Blues’. Released year ago, ‘KWESBAAR’ accumulated over 30,000 streams with the first few weeks of its release. Neak’s lucid delivery gives a hard-hitting account of the trials and retributions of being an African-American male in America which, personally, feel (at times) that Kanye West is taking a shot on the collection.

‘KWESBAAR RMXS’ carries on the same theme of his everyday struggles that’s definitely worth a listen…check it out below…

Must Listens: The Gift (Mashup), My Life